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* PLUS extra time for drying
Produced by Sun Ngo; Photograph by Maya Visnyei; Food styling by Eshun Mott; Prop Styling by Catherine Doherty, Luster Dust by Jenna Rae Cakes, Jennaraecakes.com.
This endlessly customizable cookie is made with sugar, spice, and all things nostalgic, flavored with the zest of festive clementines and aromatic spices that filled the air in my childhood home during the holidays. —Zeke Goodwin
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
zest of 5 clementines, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
3 1⁄2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons meringue powder
8 to 9 tablespoons of water
gel food coloring
1 to 2 tablespoons of vodka
- In a medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, zest of 3 clementines and spices. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the ingredients until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 min.
- Add egg, yolk, salt and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Once the eggs are incorporated, scrape the bowl and add the baking powder and flour, mixing until just combined.
- Flatten the dough into a disk and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325F.
- Let the dough soften slightly on the counter and roll out 1⁄4 inch. thick, then cut out desired shapes and place on a silicone lined baking sheet or parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges begin to brown, flipping pan halfway through baking. Let cool completely before frosting.
- Frosting: While the cookies are cooling, use an electric mixer in a mixing bowl to combine the icing sugar, meringue powder and 5 tablespoons of water. Beat until stiff peaks form, adding drops of gel food coloring until desired color is reached. Cover with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap until ready to use.
- When ready, reserve 1 cup of frosting in a separate bowl. Add the remaining zest to the original mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining 3-4 tablespoons of water, one at a time, until you reach a “flooding” consistency (the frosting should stream across the surface, then level smoothly when drizzled) . Transfer the thicker frosting and the flooded frosting to separate piping bags.
- Pipe a thin line of thicker frosting around the edge of each cookie, then fill with flooded frosting, using a toothpick to spread and smooth if necessary. Let dry. Leftover frosting will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Paint: Combine luster dust and vodka in a small bowl until a paint-like consistency is achieved. (Add dust or vodka as needed.) Paint the cookies with various brush strokes and colors as desired. Let the cookies dry, 5 to 6 min.
You don’t have to be a pro to decorate these treats. Mix up your brushstrokes, apply a little gel food coloring or dust with shimmer powder or gold glitter.